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Give Thanks

We call them “terrorists” because their goal is to inflict terror. Fear – a blinding fear that overcomes us and makes us set aside everything we value.

When we surrender to terror we surrender to the terrorists. Victory comes when we reach inside ourselves and develop bravery. That is what happens when resolve matches fear. Such bravery has defined us and given us everything we have – and is something for which we must be truly thankful.

"I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

“I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

I promise you that America is bigger than either you or I can possibly imagine. You don’t have to travel endless miles on roads that stretch past farms and forests and towns to see that, though it gives a visual understanding of the vastness of this nation. Our greatest expanse is in our hearts and our minds – in our limitless imagination fueled by the promise of freedom.

This great gift was given to us when we were born or when we arrived on these shores. To deny this is to deny what makes us who we are.

It wasn’t always easy because the great expanses of the American landscape and heart make it easy to become lost. We only realize them when we sit ourselves down and stake out our own claim to a place, a space, an ideal we call our family and community.

That is what Thanksgiving is all about. When we become still for a moment we can see how great our gifts are and truly appreciate them.

We are all in this together.

We are all in this together.

While our land is incredibly rich its greatest resource is in the hearts and minds and arms of the people who have made America what it is. It is never perfect, nor is it even perfectable. There is always room for more and there is always something which can be made better. The great spirit we inherited places a burden on each generation to not only be thankful but to expand the greatness into something more.

Fear is the only enemy and the only limit. It is the only thing that can make us forget the incredible joy felt upon arrival in this exhilarating vastness of land and ideals, of head and heart. It is what separates us by race into tiny tribes much smaller than the gifts we were given. It is what makes us shallow and greedy.

It is the only thing that can stop us from understanding that such great gifts are only magnified when they are shared.

This Thanksgiving do not give in to the terror, do not surrender to the terrorists. Honor our great traditions with love and bravery. Honor the courage that gave us freedom, that ended slavery, that organized workers, that went forward and freed the world.

Do not surrender to terror. Surrender instead to grace of a noble heritage that passes beyond our understanding.

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21 thoughts on “Give Thanks

  1. Thanks for your blog today.

    Here is the suggested topic of conversation for your holiday meal.

    “Industrial production declined 0.2 percent in October after decreasing the same amount in September. In October, the index for manufacturing moved up 0.4 percent, while the index for mining fell 1.5 percent and the index for utilities dropped 2.5 percent. For the third quarter as a whole, total industrial production is now estimated to have increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent; a gain of 1.8 percent had been reported previously. At 107.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in October was 0.3 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector declined 0.2 percentage point in October to 77.5 percent, a rate that is 2.6 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2014) average.”

  2. One thing I try to incorporate into Thanksgiving is passing on our cultural heritage.

    Last few years there’ve been a lot of kids at our table.

    So in the weeks prior to Thanksgiving I try to inculcate culture: Jerry Lewis, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Andrew Dice Clay and Chris Rock. What I do is send the kids video clips of these comedians and ask them to study them

    So at the Thanksgiving table I pimp them: I ask them questions: What are the emergent themes from, say, George Carlin. What was he getting at? What was bothering Richard Pryor? That way the kids can sharpen their teeth on comedy. Compare Andrew Dice Clay to Jerry Lewis. Did Chris Rock have any sexual themes/ How were these comedians influenced by the culture at the time. You know, what is better than I belly full of laughs as you digest your meal?

  3. What you are saying here is so deep that it is almost foundational in setting standards for the United States of America. I guarantee you that I will never surrender to terror, and I firmly believe most Americans feel the same way. Sticking with our treasured principles including courage and strength of purpose will keep us a great nation for a very long time.

  4. Pingback: (re)New America | Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

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